By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner accepted the plaudits which came his way after a battling performance from his team – despite watching them go down to a 2-1 defeat against North Shields on Tuesday night.

Skinner said: “After the final whistle, a lot of people said to me that we probably deserved something from the game – including the Shields management team. To be fair I thought we played well and possibly warranted something but we haven’t done that. We can say we deserved something like on Saturday (at Sunderland Ryhope) as well but it’s two games and zero points now and we need to get back to winning ways – starting at Northallerton on Saturday.”

The boss had words of praise for Thomas Kalthoeber who slotted in at the heart of the defence after skipper Ben Harmison had had to pull out: “Before kick off Ben (Harmison) got called into work which was a big blow for us because he’s been a big part of our back four and he’s our skipper. However, I thought Thomas (Kalthoeber) came into the defence tonight and did very, very well having been out on loan at Percy Main for a lot of the season. Thomas played in a practice game for us recently and performed well and tonight he was asked to step up and play centre back and I think he should be really pleased with his performance. One or two of the others did okay but we’ll possibly look to freshen things up on Saturday.” For the trip to North Yorkshire, defensive lynchpin Curtis Coppen will have a fitness test whilst boss Skinner is hoping Luke Salmon and goalkeeper Adam McHugh will be available both having recovered from illnesses.